Learn more about Harriet Tubman. In honor of Women’s History Month join Van Metre’s lifestyle blogger, Ernie Kyger, to explore the story of this courageous woman who dedicated her life to freedom.
- Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland in 1820.
- Harriet worked a number of jobs on the plantation such as plowing fields and loading produce into wagons. She became strong doing the manual labor of slavery, included hauling logs and driving oxen.
- At the age of thirteen Harriet received a horrible head injury. It happened when she was visiting town. A slave owner tried to throw an iron weight at one of his slaves, but it hit Harriet instead. The injury nearly killed her and caused her to have dizzy spells and blackouts for the rest of her life.
- Slaves would try to escape to the north using the Underground Railroad. This wasn't a real railroad. It was a number of safe homes that hid slaves as they traveled north. The people that helped the slaves were called conductors. Slaves would move from station to station at night, hiding in the woods or sneaking onto trains until they finally reached the north and freedom.
- In 1849, Harriet decided to escape using the Underground Railroad.
- In 1850 the Fugitive Slave Act was passed. This meant slaves could be taken from free states and returned to their owners. In order to be free, slaves now had to escape to Canada. Harriet wanted to help others, including her family, escape to safety in Canada. She joined the Underground Railroad as a conductor.
- Harriet led nineteen different escapes from the south and helped around 300 slaves to escape. She became known as "Moses" because, like the Moses in the Bible, she led her people to freedom.
- Harriet's bravery and service did not end with the Underground Railroad, she also helped during the Civil War.
- At her funeral she received full military honors.